The Fashioning of a Western Man

Essay on scientific management

The Vatican, hospital, the corporation, the army, school: an exploration of the institutions that make man a part of humanity.

How is a man made? This is not a biological question that this film written by Pierre Legendre, Gérald Caillat and Pierre-Olivier Bardet addresses, even though the first images, accompanied by the superb music of the adagio of Beethoven's Fifteenth Quartet are images of an unborn child made possible by science. The question is to know how this baby, we see being born, will be humanised by Western European institutions.

Based on an unpublished text by Pierre Legendre, a great thinker little known in France, this film is a journey into some of the emblematic organisations of the establishment. The film also recounts very real stories such as the construction of the audience hall of the Vatican, the preparation of the procession of the 14th of July, the congress of a multinational company in Sardinia, a heart transplant and the training of the young dance pupils of the Opéra de Paris in their school in Nanterre, etc.

All of these portrayals of the establishment render the Fashioning of a Western Man possible in fascinating sequences that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad but which remain consistently disquieting.

Movie director : Gérald Caillat

Duration : 01 h 15 min
Production date : 1996
Production : © Idéale Audience / Institut National de l'Audiovisuel / La Sept / Arte
Available version(s) : FR

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